Grace De Monaco was launched with a pop up event at Monaco’s Hotel De Paris, hosted by Prince Albert and a small group of friends and supporters. The Princess Grace Foundation US owns the luxury brand and gives 100% of its profits to emerging artists in film, theatre, and dance. A fragrance that honors Princess Grace’s legacy will be the first product. It will be made available through an exclusive deal between Neiman Marcus and will continue to roll out over the next year. We talked to Brisa Carleton, CEO, Christopher Lacey, Head of Operations, and Director of PR & Lindsey Champagne Communications to learn more about the unique concept of Lindsey Champagne, which was founded on luxury-for-good.
Lacey, who has worked for luxury giants like Gucci, Hugo Boss and Gucci Donna Karan, Omega, Zilli, and Giorgio Armani in his career, said that the project was “one of my most rewarding projects in my 24 year career in the luxury sector. The business model was unique. The primary role of this brand is to support the Princess Grace Foundation. This is not a side or secondary project for us. It is part of our brand’s DNA, so it has more meaning. Grace De Monaco, or GDM, is changing the way charities raise money and awareness.”
Initial attempts to find luxury philanthropic competitors were unsuccessful. Newman’s own was the model that they chose to be similarly directional. Lacey says, “We sell luxury goods rather than salad dressings, salsa, and lemonade.” “The Paul Newman brand is amazing to me because it has an iconic presence that produces high quality products and gives back to charity through consumer involvement.”
The brand’s flagship fragrance, Promenade Sur Le Rocher Parfum & Eau de Parfum, reflects the timeless elegance of Princess Grace. It was created by Olivier Cresp (Firmenich), a master perfumer who has won numerous awards. Veronique Gabai (Estee Lauder) assisted him in creating the fragrance. Jerome Faillant Dumas (Dior, YSL), designed the packaging and vessels for the Promenade Sur Le Rocher Collection. Carleton says, “We are fortunate to have long-term relationships in the luxury market. We’ve been able t tap top talent to collaborate.”
Hollywood, royalty, and philanthropy are united in the new luxury
Carleton says that Princess Grace was a Hollywood actress who became a princess. She is considered one of the most influential global fashion, film, and philanthropy figures. The foundation, which was established 40 years after Princess Grace’s passing, is a reflection of the legacy and touchpoints she left behind.
Carleton says that “in her lifetime, she had been always very modern, and that is what made her so influential. She was not only reliant upon the fashions of the day, but she also helped to shape them. We admire her style and timeless chic, and ask her what she would wear now and what perfume she would like.”
Since her death, the foundation has worked diligently to secure licenses and partnerships with brands such as Rolex, Montblanc, Dior and Montblanc. These partnerships continue, including one with Cartier. New ones will be announced soon. Grace De Monaco was strategically created to be alongside them, as none of the brands’ partners are in fragrance.
Grace Kelly: Introducing a new generation
Prince Albert wanted to bring back the essence of Princess Grace and create a new revenue model for the foundation. As Princess Grace’s family members have passed away, the foundation realized that the foundation was at a crossroads in its history. The younger generation carrying the Kelly bag do not know much about the icon after whom it is named. Carleton says that she believes Princess Grace is a person who should be remembered, and that her legacy should continue beyond this generation. Grace Influential, another initiative of the foundation, aims to introduce Princess Grace’s influence to new generations.
The Princess Grace Foundation, a public charity, is funded by donations, licensing revenue and profits from the new brand. Some notable past Princess Grace Foundation Award recipients include Cary Fukunaga, who won the 2005 Film Award. Isabella Boylston, who was awarded for Dance 2009, is now Principal Dancer at The American Ballet. Jon M. Chu who won for Film in 2001 and went on to become director of Crazy Rich Asians, In the Heights and Wicked, which is currently in production. Leslie Odom Jr. the Tony award-winning actor of Hamilton .and Academy award nominated One Night in Miami who won for Theater in 2002.
Lacey explains why Grace De Monaco is the perfect time to launch Grace De Monaco. It is vital that brands represent more than pretty things. We offer that to our clients, regardless of whether they are socially or environmentally.